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Tag : Actuation


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by   -   May 6, 2014

This post is part of our ongoing efforts to make the latest papers in robotics accessible to a general audience.

To manipulate objects, robots are often required to estimate their position and orientation in space. The robot will behave differently if it’s grasping a glass that is standing up, or one that has been tipped over.


by   -   March 10, 2014

bio-hybrid_machine_Taher_Saif

Photo by Alex Jerez Roman, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

A paper in Nature Communications earlier this year reports on “bio-bots”. These tiny machines inspired by sperm, are a hybrid combination of live heart cells and a synthetic polymer body.

The new bots, developed by researchers from the University of Illinois and Arizona State University, are the first swimming micro-machines that mimic the flagellar movement of sperm to traverse the viscous fluids of biological environments. This means they can propel themselves onward, fired by the contractile power of heart cells.


by   -   January 13, 2014

Empire Robotics, a Boston-based start-up, is beginning to sell their VERSABALL kits, a new-tech jamming gripper enabling adaptive gripping operations with a single inexpensive tool.

Filled with a granular material, in one mode it is squishy enough to envelop an object. Then, when a vacuum is created inside the ball, the granules get pulled together, solidifying around the object. The unique design enables the gripper to pick up a wide range of different objects, which can weigh up to 20 pounds. Early work was done in partnership with iRobot of Bedford, and funded by the Pentagon’s R&D arm, DARPA. Cornell holds the patent.


by and   -   December 20, 2013

new_cubli

Update: New video of final robot! My colleagues at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich have created a small robotic cube that can autonomously jump up and balance on any one of its corners.


by   -   October 25, 2013

The mechanical arm

No, this is not about shapeshifting robots, come to save or destroy Earth. It is about transforming the contexts within which robotic technologies are applied, and about practicing robotics with the intention of bringing about transformational results. In some cases this means finding better ways of accomplishing the same ends as before. In other cases it means pursuing ends that were previously unachievable. It hinges on the recognition that robotics is a revolutionary development, on the order of fire or writing, with the potential to transform everything it touches.


by   -   October 8, 2013

Grabit-Gripper 2


Grabit, a 2012 SRI International spin-off, secures $3 million in Series A funding from ABB Technology Ventures, Nike and Formation 8, a tech VC in Silicon Valley.


by   -   September 7, 2013

footer_logoRoCKIn is a three-year EU project that aims to use robot competitions in order to innovate smarter, more dependable robots, and to increase public awareness of robotics.  Part of its focus is to look at the ways in which competitions can benefit from being based on convincing and easy-to-communicate task scenarios. Following its kick-off RoCKIn Camp 2013 at this year’s RoboCup in Eindhoven, RoCKIn released its first challenge report, which includes several ‘user stories’: theoretical scenarios and tasks from which to stimulate discussions about the design of future RoCKIn competitions.



by   -   May 6, 2013

Many surgeries today are performed as open, invasive procedures because surgeons lack the right tools. Our goal is to create the technology that will enable converting these open procedures to minimally invasive ones.

- Dr. Pierre Dupont, Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School.


by   -   May 3, 2013

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert L. Stephenson


by   -   May 2, 2013

Researchers from the Wyss Institute and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard have developed a millimeter-scaled insect robot that can autonomously control its flight. Their findings were published in the prestigious journal Science. The amazing high-speed video below shows the robot taking off, hovering in place and steering left and right on demand. Controlling such small flyers has been impossible so far because of challenges in fabricating tiny actuated systems, and the chaotic movement of small flapping-wing robots. You’ve seen a fly move around your living room, doesn’t seem easy to control right?


by   -   February 27, 2013

Space_robotics_logo_node_full_imageESA is organizing the first robotic competition on a mock-up of the International Space Station (ISS). The competition is open for young people from ESA member states who can compete in three age groups between 11 and 19 years old. The regulations leave a lot of room for innovation and creative freedom, practically only safety requirements are imposed.

Key dates:
Application deadline :15 March
Development phase : 4–12 April
Finalist down-selection phase : Beginning May
Competition event : Mid-October


by   -   February 24, 2013

TED just released an excellent talk by Michael Dickinson from the University of Washington about how flies fly.


by   -   February 21, 2013

Researchers at the Biomimetic Millisystem Lab at UC Berkeley have developed a six legged, 12 cm long, bioinspired robot named STAR (Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot).


by   -   February 19, 2013

A couple years back, a team from Harvard and MIT developed a sheet of “programmable matter” that could fold into 3D structures.